The stylish French saleswoman at a NYC Megshop wore a men’s jacket with the back nipped in with a few stitches and the sleeves rolled up. It looked great! It got me thinking about even easier, less permanent ways to give instant form-fitting shape to a shirt, jacket or dress.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

A huge Maison Margiela shirt/dress/tunic I contemplated buying years ago came with an adjustable elastic strap with a clip at each end. It looked something like this (the Margiela version had longer elastic and white clips):

plain black elastic clothing clip

You clipped it onto each side seam and adjusted it until it pulled and gathered the back so that what was, in effect, a big sack took on shape.

Etsy/My Rainbow Connection
Etsy/My Rainbow Connection

I thought it was a bit of proprietary Margiela genius until I decided to search “clothing clips”, which led me to “sweater clips” and “collar chains” which apparently have been around as long as women have been wearing cardigans. You could easily use them to cinch your jacket or shirt from behind. Etsy has a trove of vintage ones…

charmante bees


chunky gold chain

Etsy/Pink Rhino Vintage
Etsy/Pink Rhino Vintage

…and these strangely amazing rabbit fur bow clips from the ’60’s

Etsy/Heavy Glow
Etsy/Heavy Glow

You can buy plain vanilla clips on Amazon. They’re listed as “sweater clips”, “scarf or hat clips”, and “jacket clips“.  This one comes in 25 colors

pink clothing clip


This adjustable version with the nice round clips can be found under “boot straps” or “pant clips“.

elastic adjustible boot clip Amazon

We see cool possibilities for adjusting these half-inch mitten clips to the max, to have a loose cinch a la Margiela…

mitten clips

You could easily make your own by buying just the clips (search “suspender clips” for different shapes, colors and sizes)  and using the material you like (elastic, leather, fabric…)

Lots of possibilities…

clothing clip on dress

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One thought on “Tricks + Tools for Instant Clothing Nips + Tucks

  1. We used these on dresses in the 90’s a lot, they work beautifully!

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